EU Parliament declares the bloc an "LGBTQI Freedom Zone"
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution declaring all European Union territory an "LGBTQI Freedom Zone".
The European Parliament's resolution, adopted with 492 votes in favour versus 141 against, said: "LGBTIQ rights are human rights". It declared all EU territory to be an "LGBTIQ Freedom Zone", a clear rebuttal to the "LGBT-free" designation used in Poland.
Over the past two years, more than 100 towns and areas in Poland have declared themselves "LGBT-free zones". The EU has responded by threatening to withhold some European funds from such towns, which the Polish government has offered to replace. Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) says gay rights are a threat to the traditional lifestyle in one of the most Catholic countries in Europe.
Its critics say it has turned to politics of bigotry to cling to power, particularly since an election last year, which PiS incumbent President Andrzej Duda narrowly won with an appeal to conservative voters that emphasised anti-gay messages.
Poland's curbs on gay rights, which are being mimicked in nearby Hungary, are among several issues that have created friction between the EU and right wing governments in power in those two ex-communist member countries.
Brussels also complains that Warsaw and Budapest have curtailed the independence of media, courts, NGOs and academics.
The chief of the EU executive, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a tweet on Wednesday: "Being yourself is not an ideology. It’s your identity. No one can ever take it away".
Poland's MEP Robert Biedroń celebrated the passing of the resolution. "We've got it! The European Parliament, by an overwhelming majority, has just adopted a historic resolution. Ladies and Gentlemen, today you've become a proud citizens of the European LGBTQI freedom zone!!" - he wrote on Twitter.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Shutterstock